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Content published before December 2016

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on medicine and medical research. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

28.10.2016Medicine statistics: GP prescribing by constituency, 2015
Prescribing rates for medicines and drugs vary substantially across the country. These rates provide a useful measure of the burden of illness and disease across the country. This briefing provides 2015 data on prescriptions by GPs in the UK, with local-area data for individual drugs covering each constituency in England.
26.08.2016Brexit: impact across policy areas
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers what impact Brexit might have. This will depend, among other things, on the Brexit negotiations, whether the UK stays in the European Economic Area and how the Government fills any policy gaps left by withdrawal.
13.07.2016Sources of Statistics: Health
This introductory guide provides sources of statistics on UK public health services.
22.04.2016Meningitis B vaccination
A petition to call on the Government to extend the programme of Meningitis B vaccination to all children, at least up to the age of 11, has received over 820,000 signatures. The Petitions and Health Committees have held evidence sessions, hearing from affected families, medical professionals and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. A debate on this e-petition has been tabled in Westminster Hall on 25 April 2016.
15.01.2016The Psychoactive Substances Bill 2015-16: Report on Committee Stage
This briefing paper is produced prior to the Report Stage of the Psychoactive Substances Bill 2015-16.
05.11.2015The Off-patent Drugs Bill 2015
This Briefing Paper has been prepared for the Second Reading of the Off-patent Drugs Bill 2015 on 6 November 2015.
13.10.2015Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill 2015-16
This Commons Library briefing provides information on the main provisions of the Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill 2015-16 and on the development of previous legislation on medical innovation (the Bill builds upon provisions in Lord Saatchi's Medical Innovation Bill 2014-15).
04.09.2015The Assisted Dying (No 2) Bill 2015
This Briefing Paper is prepared for the Second Reading of the Assisted Dying (No 2) Bill 2015 on 11 September 2015.
02.07.2015The prescription charge and other NHS charges
This briefing outlines the provisions for prescription, dental and other NHS charges under NHS legislation.
29.01.2015Mitochondrial Donation
This note seeks to provide a summary of the role of mitochondria, mitochondrial disease and the proposed new techniques. It will also outline the investigations into these techniques that took place prior to the Government announcement; a HFEA scientific review of the safety and efficacy of methods, an ethical review of the techniques for mitochondrial replacement undertaken by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and an HFEA public consultation. The main safety and ethical considerations associated with the introduction of these techniques into clinical practice will be discussed.


16.08.2016New Drugs for Dementia
A POSTnote outlining the challenges in developing new drugs to treat dementia, and an overview of UK and international research activities to accelerate progress.
09.08.2016Electronic Cigarettes
This POSTnote updates POSTnote 455 (January 2014), summarising the latest data on scale of use, safety and quality of electronic cigarettes, and their value as a stop smoking tool. It also explores the implications of the new EU Tobacco Products Directive and regulatory approaches in the UK.
20.06.2016Sugar and Public Health
This POSTnote summarises the health risks associated with eating a diet high in sugar and outlines the policy options that might best enable people to limit their sugar consumption.
27.05.2016Infant Mortality and Stillbirth in the UK
A POSTnote which reviews recent data on stillbirth and infant mortality rates in the UK and examines the factors contributing to increased risk. It then looks at the policy options that may help to improve health outcomes for infants and their families.
10.09.2015The 100,000 Genomes Project
This POSTnote provides an introduction to genomic medicine and an overview of the aims, structure and major challenges of the 100,000 Genomes Project.
12.06.2015Regulation of Synthetic Biology
Synthetic biology can be defined as the design and engineering of novel biologically-based parts, devices and systems or the redesign of existing biological systems. It may deliver potential benefits across a wide range of applications. However, some future applications may raise social and ethical issues and challenge current regulatory systems.This POSTnote examines the potential benefits and challenges.

Select Committee Reports

26.07.2010Evidence check: homeopathy.
Government response. Department of Health report [Commons]
08.02.2010Evidence check: homeopathy.
Science and Technology Select Committee report [Commons]
14.12.2009Genomic medicine.
Government response. Department of Health report [Commons and Lords]
03.06.2009Genomic medicine.
Science and Technology Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]

Early Day Motions

That this House notes the importance of the aims of the Antibiotic Action Initiative of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy that is examining ways to encourage the discovery, ...
That this House notes that about 1,600 patients in the UK are currently in need of a potentially life-saving stem cell transplant; commends Ulverston's Alice Pyne for raising public ...
That this House notes that the Free Trade Agreement currently being negotiated between India and the EU is nearing finalisation; further notes that the EU is pushing for the inclusion ...
That this House notes with regret the decision of the Legal Services Commission to withdraw funding from the claimants in the Fetal Anti-Convulsant Litigation; further notes that the ...
That this House notes that dementia is a devastating illness which affects over 800,000 people in the UK, two-thirds of them suffering from Alzheimer's disease and with only about a ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses